TGP makes an effort to be environmentally responsible. Our staff and customers are constantly challenging us to be more aware of our environmental practices. As a result, we have developed some great initiatives that help reduce our carbon footprint and that hold us accountable for our waste.
We recycle all of our cardboard and scrap steel. In 2013 we sent 42, 000 pounds of cardboard to Cascade, a recycling group that turns cardboard and other paper products into things like paper towel, toilet paper, and packaging. Steel from old equipment and racking is sent to a local company called General Recycling Industries Ltd where it’s sold to be reused.
The 24’ BigAss Fans—yes, that’s what they're really called—that we installed at our Distribution Centre are gigantic fans that help reduce air stratification. In other words, the fans control air circulation and keep the air temperature consistent so that less energy is required to heat and cool the warehouse. By using these fans, we have reduced our natural gas consumption by 15%.
In 2006 we installed over 800 motion censored, energy efficient lights at our Distribution Centre to help reduce our energy consumption. In one year alone, we saved 1.17 million kilowatts of energy, which is the equivalent to lighting 122 homes for a year.
TGP works with Trex, a company based out of Winchester, Virginia, to recycle plastics bags and transport packaging. TGP annually sends on about 180 000 pounds of plastic to Trex to be recycled into plastic lumber used to make decks. Any of the stores we supply are welcome to participate in this program, including Co-ops. Stores would simply collect their plastic bags and send them back to us on their order trucks.
It's estimated that $27 billion in Canadian food finds its way to landfills and composting annually. This waste creates unnecessarily high levels of carbon and methane, and is a huge waste of resources. TGP makes an effort to reduce food waste by donating some of our produce shrink, produce that is perfectly good to eat but that may be bruised or no longer esthetically pleasing to the average shopper, to local food shelters. We partner with local food banks and other charities to provide them with food like over ripe bananas for banana bread, flowering broccoli to make soup or bruised apples to make desserts.